Government lawyers are gearing up to defend against several legal challenges winding through state and federal courts, ready to do battle against vexatious and bothersome freedom haters hell-bent on subjecting workers to the whims of the love-to-be-ruled.
Our state is unique in the federation in that we’re one of the few that have made it illegal for the citizenry to be discriminated against based on vaccine status: with only a few exceptions here and there. Passed triumphantly by the Legislature just last year, we offer a stark contrast to some of our neighbors, who have given up their independence for a chance to lick the boots of their governing overlords.
Because there is a limited exception for nursing homes and long term medical facilities, several ne’er-do-well residents filed a challenge a few months ago in order to exempt hospitals and medical providers from the new law, which would ultimately culminate in requiring all doctors, nurses, and support staff needing to get jabbed in order to remain employed.
While the defense suffered a small setback a few weeks ago after U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy dismissed the state’s efforts to have the challenge dismissed outright, he did rule that one of the arguments the plaintiffs tried to make was -that the new law violated the constitutional right to a ‘healthy and clean environment’- wouldn’t fly, explaining that it applies “applies exclusively to the natural environment” and not a clinic behind a 6-foot tall piece of plexiglass.
Still, the state lawyers have their work cut out for them, as the plaintiffs are also arguing that this law violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that businesses provide equitable access to people with disabilities.
Their argument is that some people are immunocompromised on account of their disability, and they have a right to be protected from possible covid exposure to the same degree that their fellow non-immunocompromised would, which involves doctors and nurses masking up and getting the shot.
Ie: by their health care providers not getting the shot, they are functionally being discriminated against, because they can’t fight it off like their more able-bodied peers.
Thankfully, Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s office remains unbowed by this questionable rhetoric and bad arguments, with spokesperson Emilee Cantrell reiterating her boss’s intention to defend his law.
“No Montanan should be forced by their employer to receive a vaccine they do not want.”